Unsolved cases: Helping families of the missing find closure

There are hundreds of people in the Harris County morgue that are unidentified and this weekend, investigators are trying to get families missing a loved one some answers.

There are hundreds of people who have died in Harris County that are still unidentified. This weekend, forensic anthropologists with Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences are trying to get families missing a loved one some answers.

"Johnathan was a pretty good kid,” said Angie Hamilton, a mother whose son is missing.

Two years after Johnathan Hamilton disappeared, this Houston mom is left with no answers.

"It never goes away, it never feels better,” she said.

She still carries with her the burden of wondering who is taking care of her son.

"He is insulin dependent, he has to have insulin shots to survive,” said Hamilton.

With the help of Dr. Sharon Derrick at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Johnathan's family's DNA is now entered into NAMUS, a nation-wide system.

"I'm really hoping that anyone who needs to find a missing loved one, will hear about this,” said Dr. Derrick.

There are 325 people who have died in Harris County that Dr. Derrick and her team are working to identify.

"This is a case from 1989 of a young woman maybe in her early 20's, she was found on Westheimer, just on the sidewalk," said Dr. Derrick.

There are also more recent cases, like a young unidentified man who went missing in 2009.

"He's young, in his twenties probably, maybe up to early 30's,” she said. "He has on very nice clothing, Paco jeans and this striped shirt."

Every person represents a family that can possibly get an answer, if they're willing to come forward and provide one thing that could help investigators make a connection, DNA.

"You've got to go, you've got to be your child's voice, if you don't, nobody else will,” said Hamilton.

Investigators will be at the Houston Food Bank Conference Room at 535 Portwall Street Saturday, June 10th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In just the last two years, they've identified 12 people. That's 12 families that now have answers. For more information on Missing In Harris County Day, click here.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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